2008 Ojai "Melville Vineyard" Sta. Rita Hills Syrah

SKU #1093158 92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2008 Syrah Melville is loaded with character and personality. Dark plums, tapenade and spices are some of the many notes that are woven together in this intense, varietally expressive Syrah. At four years of age, the 2008 is still an infant. (AG)  (8/2012)

92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Bright purple. A heady bouquet displays fresh red fruits, candied flowers, lavender and Asian spices. Velvety and gently sweet, offering intense black raspberry and cherry flavors along with cola and spicecake nuances. A kick of black pepper adds lift to the pliant, persistent finish, which features darker berry and smoke qualities. Owing to its appealingly elegant character, this is delicious right now.  (11/2012)

90 points Wine Spectator

 Combines ripe, grapey plum and wild berry character with a touch of meatiness, turning spicy and ending with a crushed rock and hot brick edge. Drink now through 2024. (Web-2013)

K&L Notes

Well...I think Adam Tolmach makes some of the best Syrahs in the state. He has a specific block of Melville that he really likes and has been using for some time now that I think is a bit older and surely makes heftier wines than Melville's own version. The wine is way more gamey/savage than it is fruity, but that is a good thing. It also has tons of spice and a bit of youthful oak. I always tell people that Adam's Syrahs are best at 10+ years after vintage, and that is why I always try to work with older things from him. (Bryan Brick, K&L Domestic wine buyer)

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Price: $39.99
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- One of France's noblest black grape varieties, Syrah is known for its intense and distinctive perfume reminiscent of briar fruit, tar, spice and black pepper and its firm structure. One of few black grape varietals frequently vinified on its own, the best examples of Syrah come from the Northern Rhône, particularly Hermitage, but also Côte-Rôtie, Cornas, Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph. These wines are very astringent in their youth, though some Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph can be enjoyed young, relatively speaking. Given the requisite patience, though, these wines can reveal amazing complexity and secondary fruit characteristics like plum and blackcurrant as well as subtle hints of smoke and flowers. In the Southern Rhône, Syrah is used to add structure and complexity to wines dominated by Grenache and complemented by Mourvèdre, like the more immediately drinkable Côte du Rhônes, as well as the long-lived wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. In recent years, plantings of Syrah have spread throughout the Languedoc-Roussillon where it is produced on its own or blended with other varietals. Outside of France, the most important Syrah growing country is easily Australia, where it is called Shiraz. Quality levels here depend greatly on yields and geography, and the wines range from bold, fruity and easy-drinking to intense and ageable, like the famed Penfolds Grange. Often bottled on its own, in Australia Syrah is also can be blended with Grenache and Mourvèdre, as in the Southern Rhône, and is increasingly combined with Cabernet Sauvignon. Syrah has also been steadily increasing in popularity in California, thanks to a group of advocates called the Rhône Rangers. Its most successful iterations come from the Central and Sonoma Coasts, where winemakers are pushing boundaries and creating some incredible wines. In recent years Syrah has also found a number of proponents in Washington State, which is definitely a region to watch for this variety.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.